Dark Sun: Grave Burden

E12: Reinforcements

The party accompanies a band of trained Wavir mercenaries to relieve the weakened silver mine south of Fort Glamis.

Calls of the frightened mercenaries beckon from within the House Wavir mining camp. By ear, the psionic beasts tear through the mercenaries inside as occasional death rattles are heard. Nataku lays on the ground motionless, and it's not clear whether the mul is alive or dead. The bitter humans that accuse you of being the causing factor in this ravage stand around him, rummaging through his pack and supplies. Before they can get their dirty hands on the mul's stashed possessions, they all seem to answer a call and go rushing back into the camp inside the rock.


6th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

Discerning the status of the downed water cleric

Dalamar looks back at the scene that took place after he bolted for the desert. A lifeless Nataku is slumped over face-down on the earth’s floor, the mekillot some 20 meters behind him stares slowly at the water cleric. Taking note of the fleeing mercenaries, the elf sneaks back over to his adventuring companion, carefully assessing the situation before investigating the mul close-up. Not seeing any signs of other human mercenaries, Dalamar strides over to Nataku and drags his body to a safe and hidden place beside the rock. The mul’s chitinous plate scrapes up a pile of dirt and dust as he is pulled away by the 6’4" elf. Dalamar looks the mul over, and discovers that he’s still alive, albeit very unconscious. He rounds up the astray crodlu and lifts Nataku onto its back, strapping him on with rope. While Dalamar would never be found riding a beast of burden, he finds the beast very convenient because of the current situation.

Night trek back to Fort Glamis

Dalamar leads the crodlu and its unconscious cargo back to Fort Glamis, using his keen survival skills to avoid dangers and continue in the right direction. The elf’s potion of darkvision still allowing him to see normally in a black-and-white spectrum. Nearly 3 hours pass before the elf and his carry reach the fort. Dalamar witnesses a strange sight of several humanoid figures in the distance standing motionless at the feet of the fort’s pale walls. The people stare up at the wall’s perimeter, where no patrolling mercenaries are found. Dalamar is careful to avoid the fort, and he circles around to the rocky outcrop where the party rested a couple nights before. When he encircles the distance, he hears an unnerving moaning coming from the humanoids, who still never move. The elf holes up in the walled section of the outcrop, and sets up his tent for the water cleric.

7th of Mist, Year of Priest’s Defiance

Dalamar’s camp outside of Fort Glamis

Dalamar sits at watch, paying close attention to the figures that surround the southwest corner of Fort Glamis. The potion wears off, leaving the elf to look on with his low-light vision. A notable contrast between the brightness and acuity the potion granted and the elf’s normal sight are readily apparent, but Dalamar still sees the distant silhouettes standing motionless at the wall.

Nataku’s natural mul resilience enables him to recover from his beat-down faster than any other tableland race would. He becomes conscious not long after the elf sets camp, and through confused and blurred vision sees the elf Dalamar writing in his leather-bound journal with a quill pen. The mul barely seems to remember the immediate events that led up to his awakening. Dalamar explains what happened reservedly, and mentions the problem at the wall of Fort Glamis just over the patchy stretch of desert outside. When questioned further, Dalamar insists that he saved the mul’s life. Nataku casts a wound-healing spell on his cuts and bruises and eventually goes back to rest. When he awakens a few hours later, the elf and mul switch roles. Nataku attempts to watch as best he can, but his vision isn’t anywhere near as acute as Dalamar’s. He braves the darkness, allowing his dilated eyes to loosely scan the outside. He hears the distant cries of wild beasts, and can only barely make out the figures surrounding the fort that the elf spoke of. The crimson sun creeps over the horizon after a few hours, and soon the elf awakens to the quiet and watchful Nataku. The mul says that the figures left sometime in the night, and the gates to the fort have been opened.

Nataku’s conversation with Bryphero

The two agree to part temporarily as Dalamar gathers up the camping gear while Nataku heads inside the fort to speak with Bryphero once again. The water cleric enters the fort and is welcomed as a savior of the water supply. When he requests a talk with the fortmaster, he is granted near-immediate access. Bryphero awaits inside and the two greet each other. The fortmaster looks tired and stressed, but it is unclear whether or not the man has heard the news of the silver mine. Before Nataku can mention anything substantial, the door snaps open and a sweating elven runner stands in the doorway. He frantically delivers the news that the silver mine has been reaved by strange horrific creatures, and that many of the mercenaries were killed in the attempt to fend them off. He says that the beasts are dead but so are a slew of the contracted soldiers.

Bryphero’s entire demeanor changes from bad to worse, and he begins to bark orders at the elf, ordering him to tell Captain Gorda to ready her troops for immediate departure. When the runner leaves, conversation resumes between the distressed fortmaster and Nataku. The water cleric doesn’t mention that he was at the mining camp just hours earlier. Instead, he asks what he can do to assist. Bryphero tells him to get Gorda to round up 30 troops and have them march to the mining camp. Nataku asks the fortmaster of his current mental state, and explains that he might be able to help that as well. Bryphero explains that it’s obviously the current events at the mine causing him great distress, but Nataku sees through the explanation as a red herring and inquires further.

Bryphero’s expedition massacre monologue

Bryphero reveals that he is stressed over an event that took place about 10 days prior. He says that he accompanied an expedition into the mine with several of the mercenaries there and they stumbled upon a crystal cave. When they set climbing rungs down into the cave and descended to scout out the cavern, they were attacked by strange and horrific creatures. The mercenaries attempted to defend themselves and the fortmaster, but the battle was a losing one. Bryphero explains that he fled up the rungs in the cave wall, with the others in tow. The mercenaries couldn’t make it and were dragged back down and killed by the monsters. The fortmaster had to arrange the section to be barricaded and sealed off in case the creatures climbed the wall. He says that he fears the creatures that escaped the mine were the ones leftover from the massacre he witnessed. Nataku assures the fortmaster that he will attempt to get to the bottom of the attacks, and relieve the sundered mining effort. After a written note signed by Bryphero, the mul takes his leave and heads for the mercenary quarters to speak with Captain Gorda.

Assembling the company of House Wavir mercenaries

Nataku departs the Fortmaster’s hall and head’s directly to the mercenary quarters. Once inside, he spots Captain Gorda rounding up a section of her troops. She guides them over with hand signals and makes them check over their gear and supplies. It is apparent that she has already been preparing them for departure. Nataku speaks to the busy captain, giving her Bryphero’s wishes for her to arrange 30 soldiers. She does so, and the band begins to depart. Nataku heads to find Hanibaal. He awaits the human’s long sleep-cycle to be over because there isn’t a sign of the man as soon as Nataku enters the mealhall. Once the bard wakes up, Nataku finds him and reveals what has happened (reservedly). Hanibaal eats his breakfast without any told-you-so’s, and soon departs with the water cleric. The two head for Dalamar’s camp, which is now gathered. The elf is surprised to see a band of mercenaries standing at the gate, and Nataku tells him that he is to accompany him back to the mining camp for a relief effort. The three set out with the band of soldiers. Hanibaal attempts to liven the desert trek with a humming song. He recalls the Ode to the spear soldier, a Balician song of extensive history. However, when the bard begins to hum, he finds that he has forgotten the melody and flubs the tune. Several soldiers look confused and agitated at the bard’s performance (perhaps more confused after hearing his performance in the mealhall the night before). The band of mercenaries continues on, though.

Mining camp relief

Upon arrival to the mines, the mercenary group discovered a more resolved scene than that witnessed by the cleric and the elf earlier that night. The beasts that plagued the mine through the night had been slain and the men of the mining camp were tending to the wounded and dead. Nataku’s desire to help the wounded men kicked in, but he decided they needed to clear their names in the camp, and went to meet with Eldonno. Dalamar was reluctant and shared his feelings of just keeping his head down, but Nataku reminded him of the written clearance of Bryphero that Nataku retrieved before they set out with the army. This relieved Dalamar and also impressed Hanibaal who noted that what ever made the job of clearing their names was well welcomed. Given the conditions of meeting a very tired and very stressed Eldonno, the party’s news of bringing the army and paperwork to clear their name brought relief to the mountain of a man. Eldonno quickly topped off the conversation with the reveal of his desire for the party to fix a broken barricade that cause this whole dilemma in the depths of the silver mine. The party gives a a unanimous decision to help each bearing a different intent. Nataku is eager to help, Dalamar is eager to do what ever it takes to leave, and Hanibaal is eager for the favor the would create. The party quickly sets out into the mining camp to gather resources for the new task. Nataku asked how they should proceed and asked if there was a way he could spend some time with the wounded, Hanibaal says yes and he will come get him when the preparations were ready. Hanibaal then talks to Captain Gorda about taking some troops down into the mine with them seeing how the camp was now safe, and she agreed for Hanibaal to lead 7 men. Hanibaal follows this up by asking around the camp for the man with the most experience of the mine. He is turned to Domtwag the chief coordinator of the mine. Hanibaal requests Domtwag’s to accompany them down and asks for him to bring a man that knows most about the barricade and can handle himself in case of a fight. When Domtwag shows reluctance Hanibaal informs him that he is under order of Eldonno, who gave Hanibaal right to solve this problem and Domtwag has no choice in the matter. A few minutes later, Domtwag has shown up with a man refered to as Greenshield who bears the same look of concern and disapproval as Domtwag. Hanibaal greets them and alerts the troops, Dalamar, and Nataku that they were ready to depart. The large group entered the sealed mine ready to challenge what ever waves of enemies dare threaten them, but the tension quickly broke upon the deep sighs of relief from Domtwag when they realized there were none. The group encountered no threats during their trek to the barricade, and when they arrived at the disassembled barrier, they had no problem putting it back together.

Leaving the Mining Camp

Once the barricade was fixed the group quickly returned to the mining camp to inform Eldonno of their success. Eldonno was relieved that the incident had concluded and told them that he owed the party of three. Both Nataku and Hanibaal told him not to worry about it for now. All the group asked was for a letter acknowledging their deeds and permission to use the forge at the camp, and Eldonno granted both. Before they left they went to the forge and had their fifteen pounds of silver ground down into the powered silver they needed. After they thanked Captain Gorda and then set out into the desert towards South Ledopolous.

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AaronWinfield

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